Ars poetica

We went to spot a trogon and I began to hum,
picking paces down a path greater than their sum.
Milky lime, the river, sometimes smoky jade;
in the brush, bromeliads; red orchids in the shade.
Cawing to the trogon as if we knew his sound,
we surely drove him farther in the dim background
where flashes off the river flitted with the breeze
and likenesses of birds flocked behind the trees.
At length we reached the ambit of a murmur
first confused. From hush rose up whispers, firmer
round each bend, until we knew a roaring
falls could best explain the din, though its pouring
as it filled the pool came to form a quiet cove,
a hollowed cell recessed within the tangle of the grove.
I looked up through the rainbow spray where
my creature should have been, emerald scarlet in the air,
thoughts of ruby green. The water’s plunge made the bluff
beside it soar, but no bird perched up in that rough.
Mine remained the rarest bird, one that’s never flown.
The echo of his dearth is for my ears alone.